American Airlines offers a generous 5 day ‘hold’ for award itineraries. You don’t have to put down a credit card or spend your miles to lock in an award option.
A reader with an AAdvantqage award on hold for travel on Cathay Pacific let me know he received a call on Wednesday saying they shouldn’t have been offered the 5 day hold because “some partners” were no longer allowing this, and the woman who called him said she has been very busy calling passengers letting them know they had to ticket or cancel immediately, despite having these awards held.
An American Airlines spokesperson tells me this is a temporary glitch with Cathay Pacific awards,
The AAdvantage award hold policy hasn’t changed. We’ve identified an issue where reward itineraries placed on hold for travel on Cathay Pacific are being canceled in accordance with Cathay’s award hold policy, which is less than five days. Until the issue can be resolved, we’re proactively contacting members so they aren’t negatively affected. We aren’t aware of any other carriers affected by this issue.
Cathay Pacific First Class
Update: American currently recommends ticketing itineraries that include Cathay Pacific within 3 days of holding a reservation.
When American eliminated award redeposit fees in the fall I worried that this would mean the end of putting awards on hold, something U.S. competitors no longer offer. Gone are the days when 30, then 14, then 3 day award holds were common. Hopefully American keeps its hold policy, which makes AAdvantage easier to use than competitor programs, and quickly resolves the glitch of Cathay Pacific cancelling held itineraries.